The city of Boston poured their hearts out into this marathon and it's runners. The crowds of spectators were so overwhelming and powerful.
I didn't really know what the day would hold when I left in the morning but I was open to whatever it was going to be. I had a general idea that I wanted to run pretty easy through the first 6-8 miles and than start working to pick up pace and have a strong second half.
I never felt great but I not bad either. I stopped for a few pics to be taken and texted to my hubby during the first 8-10 miles. I slapped hands like it was my job and soaked up the crowds. I remember taking my second gel around 10 and having a kick in my step. I think I was feeling pretty good around mile 10-11 but wondered okay can I hold this up through the Newton hills?
Than somewhere around mile 12-14 miles, I came upon this runner that was very young and who was having a difficult time running. I slowed to see how he was doing and if I could help him in anyway. His ITband was doing a number on him. He was not in good condition but was determined to finish Boston. He had a red bib in 2000s so I knew he having a bad day. Just from our few second interaction I knew I could not leave him. I turned off my watch and made the commitment to help him as far as I could. He had such a fighting spirit and was in so much pain but he stayed positive and kind. He and I shared our stories with each other during these miles.
He was 22 yrs old and had qualified for Boston with 2:53 marathon and was from Massachusetts. He had such a sweet and kind dissipation that he reminded me of my son. Around mile 20, we came upon another Charlotte runner friend I knew and she was having a tough day. It was hot and the sun was taking it's toll on many runners. Pat the young runner told me I should go on and told me he was going to finish Boston no matter what. We exchanged information and hugged good-bye.
I left with my Charlotte running friend and up Heartbreak we went and said we would finish Boston together. I let her go for a minute to jump in a Porta-potty to pee when I noticed blood running down my legs. I had severe chaffing and I just happen to be next to a Med tent.
I asked them if they had any band-aids. Little did I know the chaffed area was much wider than a mere band-aid could cover. They cleaned the area, applied gauze and bandages so I could continue on. I never caught back up with my Charlotte friend as I was at med-tent for about 10 minutes. So I pressed on finishing out the last 5 minutes soaking in the crowd.
Finishing I was very happy and satisfied with my Boston experience. It was a beautiful adventure, I had fun and I connected with the city and the running community. Boston for me was not about PRs but about showing up and opening up to something greater than myself.
Pat finished his first Boston in 4:41! He showed more strength, perseverance and character than I have seen in someone before. I am so honored to be apart of his day.